June 23, 2024

Garden City opens the season No. 3 in the NJCAA Polls

By Mike Pilosof

Garden City, KS-For the second time in the last three years, Garden City begins the year near the top of the preseason landscape.

The Broncbusters are ranked third in the first poll released by the NJCAA on Monday, garnering one first-place vote. Defending National Champion East Mississippi is No. 1, reeling in six of the seven first-place votes, with Iowa Western sitting at No. 2.

Despite being slated to finish third in the Jayhawk, Garden City is ranked higher than the conference-preseason favorites Hutchinson and Butler.

The Broncbusters, who won their second Jayhawk Conference title in the past three years last season, have even greater expectations this year. They were ranked No. 3 by Street and Smith Magazine, No. 2 by Gridiron RR and No. eight in the JCGridiron Dirty 30, which includes the California schools.

This is the 16th time over the last 21 years that Garden City has been ranked in the preseason polls. During that same stretch, it’s the fourth time in the top five with two of those coming in the past three seasons.

“We know where we want to go,” Head Coach Tom Minnick said. “Our goal every year is to compete for National Championships. That’s why we are here.”

Minnick enters his first season at Garden City after spending the last 11 at Arizona Western. He’s more than familiar with the NJCAA polls as the Matadors finished in the top 20 eight times.

The Broncbusters are the highest-ranked Jayhawk Conference team, with Hutchinson coming in fifth, Butler 10th and Highland 16th.

Garden City opens the season at home Saturday vs. No. 6 Snow. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. You can listen to the game on 99.9 FM; westesrnkansasnews.com/kwkr and the KWKR mobile app.